Call of the cloud

Did you ever have a cloud catch your eye?

Last Saturday morning this one did just that on my way into town. I took a minor detour to get a better look from Naples Pier.

Naples usually gets its mountain-like summer clouds (which quite literally you can climb with your eyes) in the afternoon, not the morning, thanks to the handy work of colliding sea breezes and inland convectional heating plus a steady shove to the west on the wings of the Trades.

As stormy as our afternoons can be …

Mornings are usually sunny and bright.

Morning clouds, just off shore, are also a reliable (if less frequent) summer sighting.

And particularly so along those portions of the coast where the nocturnal nose of the land breeze blows face first into the ambient direction of regional air flow. That’s usually from the south or east, but on occasion also from the west. When and where that happens, the first light of dawn is greeted with cumulonimbus castles of white just off shore which, as the wind blows, can drift onshore for a dose of early morning rains.

For Miami those storms are the norm.

This cloud didn’t bring any rain, but it was a spectacle to see …

And well worth the stop.

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